How does your garden grow?

Some people have a "green thumb" when it comes to growing things. I am not one of those people. I love to garden. I love to dig in the dirt and feel the soil between my fingers, but for some reason I don't do a very good job of keeping the weeds out like I should. I try, I really do, but somehow those darn weeds just begin to creep back in and by the time I get a chance to do my weeding there are so many that I begin to feel overwhelmed. Maybe you are like me or maybe you are one of those people whose yard and garden looks like the cover of a Better Homes and Garden magazine? Regardless of what your gardening skills may be I have found that life can be very similar to that familiar parable that Jesus tells to his disciples on this very same subject matter. In Mark 4 Jesus tells his disciples this beginning in verse 14; "The farmer is like a person who plants God's message in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the road. This is like the people who hear the teaching of God, but Satan comes and quickly takes away the teaching that was planted in them. Others are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly accept it with joy. But since they don't allow the teaching to go deep into their lives, they keep it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up. Others are like seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but the worries of this life, the temptation of wealth, and many other evil desires keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives. Others are like the seed planted in the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce fruit-sometimes thirty times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes a hundred times more." Mark 4:14-20, NCV
I know that this is a long passage to read, but it is just one of those passages in the Bible that really makes sense to me. Jesus knew that not all of the people he was preaching to would accept His words and plant them in their hearts. He knew that even the best of farmers and gardeners still have to deal with the weeds sometimes. In this life there are weeds that seem as stubborn as the thorniest and toughest one that we have ever encountered. We fight it every day, every time we are in our garden it rears it's ugly head up through the beautiful flowers. We scream, we plead, we threaten and sometimes we just give up on ever getting that stubborn weed out of our garden and out of our lives. The good news is that we are not in this business of gardening alone. We have a master gardener who is waiting for us to ask Him how do we get rid of these pesky weeds in our lives. Jesus is the one who has planted the seed of God's word into our hearts and our lives. When it was planted it was up to us to tend to it and nurture it so that it could grow and flower abundantly for all of the world to see. Sometimes the weeds try to take over and choke our joy and our faith, but help is just one prayer away. There is a reason a gardener works best on their knees, it is because that is where we should also be when we need to seek guidance from the master. If your garden of life has not been cultivated or growing like it should, then get on your knees and seek the one who is in control. Jesus loves you, weeds and all. It is never too late, even if you have more weeds then flowers in your life right now. He is the only one who can take care of that for you.
With or without the weeds continue to plant the seed of Jesus in everyone you meet. Make a conscious effort to plant and nurture those seeds, so that minimal weeding is required. Continue to inspire the desire for Christ in those around you and watch how your garden does grow.
Blessings-Nicole

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